In the four-plus decades since Sam Walton began his discount retailing business in the northern corner of the state, the cities of Bentonville and Rogers have grown and diversified to fit the changing economy. Now, they offer a rare mix of historic charm with refurbished downtowns and modern amenities with top-notch restaurants, hotels and shopping. Pack your bags for a long weekend getaway and enjoy the best of both worlds.
Friday Afternoon and Evening
Start your trip with a step back in time at Bentonville’s downtown square. Refresh yourself with a snack at the neighborhood-favorite Station Café (111 N. Main St., 479- 273-1343), and then head next door to B. LaRue (109 N. Main St., 479-464-9977) for an eclectic array of gifts and home décor items. Travel around the neighboring streets for an assortment of other home furnishings shops: For Me and My House (112 S.E. A St., 479-273-2519, www.formeandmyhousear.com), Cottage of Bentonville (116 W. Central Ave., 479-254-0974), Ideas Antique & Modern Décor (118 W. Central Ave., 479-268-3900 (www.ideasantiquedecor.com) and Bloom (120 W. Central Ave., 479-273-1190).
Downtown Bentonville is home to several museums as well. If time permits, check out: Crystal Bridges at the Massey (125 W. Central Ave., 479-418-5700, www.massey.crystalbridges.org), a satellite location housed in an ornate, circa 1908 building while the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is being constructed; the Walmart Visitors’ Center (105 N. Main St., 479-273-1329, www.walmartstores.com); or the new Museum of Native American Artifacts (202 S.W. O St., 479-273-2456, www.museumofnativeamericanartifacts.org).
Complete your tour of downtown with dinner at Table Mesa Bistro (108 E. Central Ave., 479-715-6706, www.tablemesabistro.com), known for modern Latin cuisine, and then head down the highway to check into your weekend home-away-from-home, the Aloft hotel (1103 S. 52nd St., 479-268-6799, www.starwoodhotels.com). Featuring loft-like guest rooms, a buzzing bar scene in the open lobby and industrial design elements throughout, the hotel promises to be a contemporary retreat.
Venture into historic downtown Rogers for breakfast with the locals at Iron Horse Coffee Company (220 S. First St., 479-631-9977), known for its espresso drinks and bagels. Browse next door at Interior Visions Design (218 S. First St., 479-636-3200, www.interiorvisionsdesignllc.com), where you’ll find home furnishings and accessories, and then wander through Poor Richards Art (116 S. First St., 479-636-0417, www.poorrichardsart.com), an artists’ co-op showcasing unique jewelry, pottery, photography, baskets and more. Around the corner at Brick Street Botanical (105 W. Walnut St., 479-633-8890, www.brickstreetbotanical.com) you’ll find a charming combination of flowers, antiques and inspiring ideas to bring home with you.
Next, make the short drive to Interiors Galleria (4301 Pleasant Crossing Pkwy., 479-899-6766), a marketplace with more than 120 stores under one roof. Shop for home décor and accessories, kids’ wares, gifts and more—one of our favorite spots is the Winterberry Home store, stocked with stylish goods. All that shopping is bound to work up your appetite, and the Crumpet Tea Room (479-899-6322) within the Galleria is open for lunch.
Heading back toward the hotel, you’ll find The Shoppes at Pinnacle Hills, offering fashionable boutiques like Ropa (3201 Market St., Ste. 103, 479-273-0022), a hot spot for women’s apparel and accessories; The Perfect Pair (3201 Market St., Ste. 107, 479-271-6430, www.theperfectpairshoes.com), for the latest shoe styles; and 3 Monkeys Children’s Boutique (3301 Market St., 479-271-0701, www.3monkeysboutique.com) for trendsetting clothing for kids. For your home, check out I.O. Metro (3335 Market St., 479-899-6288, www.io-metro.com) and Signed Sealed Delivered (3301 Market St., Ste. 105, 479-271-7747, www.shopssd.com), where you’ll find everything from tableware to scrapbook supplies.
End your evening with a relaxing dinner at Basil’s Café, (3300 Market St., Ste. 136, 479-464-4190, www.basilscafenwa.com), a popular destination for delicious globally inspired fare in a casually chic setting.
After checking out of the hotel, pick up breakfast to go at Silver Joe’s Coffee Company (3351 Pinnacle Hills Pkwy., 479-273-0006, www.silverjoes.com) and then venture north to downtown Bentonville for a leisurely stroll through Compton Gardens (312 N. Main St., 479-254-3870, www.comptongardens.org). Just a few blocks from the square, this 6.5-acre retreat features native woodland plants interspersed with walking trails, and is an ideal destination for enjoying your coffee al fresco and reflecting on the highlights of your long weekend before beginning the trek back home.